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Friday, April 02, 2010

Factbox: Taser policy timeline

April 1, 2010
Kirsten Smith, Canwest News Service

Robert Dziekanski's death in 2007 prompted an international outcry, and raised questions about the use of Tasers by Canadian law-enforcement officers.

These are some of the changes to Taser policy that have been made across the country since his death.

- June 2008

The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP recommends tighter controls on the use of Taser.

A Parliamentary committee recommends that the RCMP restrict the circumstances in which Tasers are used, that the high-voltage devices be used less and that multiple firings also be restricted.

- July 2008

The Saskatchewan Police Commission reverses an earlier decision and no longer supports the idea that all police be equipped with a Taser.

Nova Scotia acts on recommendations from a ministerial review and restricts the circumstances in which Tasers can be used to cases of aggressive resistance or threats to a police officer.

- February 2009

The Canadian Police Association and Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police both recommend that all police officers be issued Tasers.

The RCMP tighten the guidelines on Taser use, now requiring that an immediate threat to an officer or the public exist before the weapon is deployed. Changes to training focus on multiple use of the device and the impact on acutely agitated individuals.

- July 2009

Alberta enacts new guidelines that require ongoing testing of the devices, and a use-of-force reporting system.

- July 2009

British Columbia issues new guidelines in response to the Braidwood inquiry's Phase 1 report. Police should only use the Taser when bodily harm is threatened, when lesser force has proved ineffective or during the enforcement of a federal criminal law.

- October 2009

Taser International sends a directive recommending the Taser not be aimed directly at the chest.

- March 2010

Ontario announces new guidelines for all police in the province beginning in a few months. Police should refrain from Tasering the elderly and should not aim for the head, throat or genitals, the guidelines say.

1 comment:

Excited-Delirium blog said...

It's sad how out of touch and out of step the CPA and CACP leaders were (are?) on this issue. Their position (Feb 2009, probably unchanged [?]) is diametrically opposite to what everyone else is deciding. This shows how much they're under the spell of The Church of Taser. Might be worthy of further investigation, see what emails and telephone records indicate is going on between Taser International and these organizations. I'm guessing that there are some direct ties. But it's just a hunch.